Projects planned and executed based on inadequate resources and unrealistic deadlines lead to poor quality and overshooting of budgets and schedules.
For software projects to be successful, it is important to set realistic targets that can be achieved. These targets should be based on an estimate of the work to be done and the effort required for it. The product scope should be well defined for establishing reliable estimation. There are multiple estimation techniques that can be used to arrive at effort and schedule estimates. Project monitoring and control is also required to ensure that the project targets remain achievable.
Basic Concepts and Techniques of Estimation course includes:
- The Importance of Estimation in Software Project Management
- Defining the Product Scope
- The Grammatical Parse Technique
- Estimating Using the Empirical & Decomposition Methods
This course has been co-authored by the internationally recognized consultant and authority on software engineering—Dr. Roger S. Pressman.
This course will enable you to:
- Explain the importance of estimation for project planning and the need to revise the estimates as a project progresses.
- Explain what the product scope is and why it should be defined for project estimation and planning.
- Explain how the technique of grammatical parse is used for the functional decomposition of a product.
- Explain the two main approaches that are followed for estimation.
You receive a certificate of completion after successfully completing this course.
Estimation is the basis of project planning because it establishes feasible targets for the cost and the schedule. The projects that are planned and executed based on unrealistic deadlines lead to poor quality and overshooting of budgets and schedules. In order to achieve the planned targets, the estimates may need to be revisited during project execution, to take into account the altered situation and revised assumptions.
For reliable estimation, the scope of the product should be well defined. If the product scope is ambiguous, the estimation may be inaccurate, leading to unrealistic targets. For the product scope to be unambiguous, the statement of scope should be bounded, that is, it should clearly state the quantitative data, the constraints, and the mitigating factors related to the product.
The initial estimation for a project is based on the functional decomposition of the product, which is derived from the bounded statement of scope. Grammatical parse is a simple technique used for performing functional decomposition when given the bounded statement of product scope.
Estimation is necessary for project planning and target setting. However, uncertainty is inherent in any estimate; therefore, multiple methods are used to derive multiple estimates, which are then reconciled. These methods fall under two broad approaches—empirical model approach and decomposition-based approach.
In the empirical model approach, the relationship between size, effort, and project duration is used, in which the size is taken as an input to obtain the overall effort and duration of the project. In the decomposition-based approach, the project is decomposed into smaller work components. Each work component is individually estimated using historical data. The estimates of the work components are then added to obtain the total estimate for the project.